The board for rural Dolores County Re-2J School District, in western Colorado, voted recently to arm its superintendent and principal with handguns. Principal Ty Gray said in an interview that aired over the weekend with 9News that the district feels that this is the best way to protect the kids "in case something ever was to happen." Here are the details.
* About 260 students attend school in the district, located mostly in Dove Creek, with the nearest town located 30 miles away and, according to Gray, "not that much law enforcement here all the time."
* Gray added that there has never been a school resource officer in the district and there is no funding to afford that position.
* Last month, a state bill that would arm public school employees died in committee, the Denver Post reported.
* Senate Bill 9 would have authorized a school district board of education to adopt written policy allowing employees to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds if the person holds a valid permit for it. The bill was postponed indefinitely by a Senate Judiciary Committee vote of 3-2.
* However, the Denver Post reported, state law already allows permit holders to carry concealed handguns at school if they're contracted with the district as a security officer.
* According to the Durango Herald , Gray and superintendent Bruce Hankins completed a two-session handgun course over the weekend following last week's unanimous vote by the school board to have them function as security officers for the district.
* The two will be paid $1 each as salary for the security positions as a monetary contract is required by law, the Herald reported.
* According to the Cortez Journal , a number of parents were in attendance at the meeting of the Dolores County school board and spoke in favor of arming the administrators. Reportedly, no concerns or objections to the decision were spoken at the meeting.
* The conversation about school security began in Dolores County long before the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the Durango Herald.
* 9News reported that, in 2009, two 19-year-olds were arrested for attempting to pull off a mass shooting at Dove Creek High School in the Dolores County Re-2J district.
- Politics & Government
- Dolores County